Thanksgiving with Grateful Hearts

Thursday, December 1, 2022

As I am working on this blog post, it is hard to believe the first of December is here, and Thanksgiving 2022 has come and gone. The calendar says it is still Fall, but in our world, Winter is here! 

The last bouquet out of the garden! 

Cutting up the pumpkin from my garden 

Roasting the pumpkin is the best way I've found to preserve pumpkins.  Just roast them at 350 for about an hour until fork tender.  Scoop out the seeds before roasting, feed them to the chickens or make your own roasted pumpkin seeds. 

All this pumpkin pureed up and ready for the freezer! I mark on the bag whether it is a 2-cup or 1-cup pkg, as sometimes I only need to make one pie. 

Lost in pensive thought... my sweet girl Ash. 

Walking one frosty morning, the temps were about 7 degrees.  The neighbor's horses came to the fence as we walked by.  The sun was rising through the misty fog and created a spectacular scene.  

After several minutes visiting the horses, I captured this gorgeous image! 

We got a little snow and decided to try to get our burn piles lit. It had been quite dry, and we wanted to avoid burning our slash piles any sooner. They lit right up and it was so pretty to watch with the snow around us! I took this picture from my living room window where I keep some of my tea wares :) The tea lamp in the middle is one I made myself.  I used E6000 glue to glue the bottom layer (an ashtray) to an upside-down vase and then added the Thomas Kincaid teapot to the top. I drilled a hole in the ashtray and threaded fairy lights into the vase to create this adorable lamp that is on a timer, it comes on every evening at dusk.  

We flew down to Texas for Thanksgiving. My brother hosted the gathering this year. He has this beautiful pool room overlooking his pool for us to gather in. It is such a blessing to all be together in comfort with such a beautiful view! 

Such an abundance of food! 

It had been raining quite a bit, but the sun came out in time for our dinner together. It was so beautiful to visit with everyone! 

After the dinner was done and tables put up, we sat around and visited. 

Ryan and Alanna singing to Dan's Mom. Dan's family gathered in a campground, and we rented an RV to be with them. 

My brother was so kind to lend us a vehicle, and we rented the RV.  It was fun to be with Dan's family and enjoy the Thanksgiving week with them too. 

Dan's mom is in a nursing home, but she came out with us to
spend time at the RV park. 

One night we went down to the San Antonio Riverwalk.  We ate at Mi Tierra's, an incredibly beautiful Mexican cafe.  The mariachi band played a song for us! 

The decor in this cafe was full of color and vibrance! 

My brother ordered this "Family Feast" platter for us. It was so much food, it fed all of us, and was so so good! I took this picture after we had eaten almost to our heart's content.  There was a lot left over, and there were 8 of us! 

One thing we love about Tex-Mex cuisine is their fried sopapillas.  Oh my ... soo good drizzled with honey! 

Dan and I as we walked around the Riverwalk.
Christmas trees lit up everywhere! 

Ryan and Alanna.

A picture of us down at the Riverwalk. 

My brother and his wife. 

There was a group celebrating a quinceanera (a Mexican traditional celebration for 16-yo girls). It was quite the affair! The 16-yo girl was in the yellow dress. 

Down at the Riverwalk

The Alamo was all lit up with Christmas lights. 

Another view of the Riverwalk. It truly is an incredible place to visit,
especially in the Christmas season. 

My Dad was not feeling well all through Thanksgiving.  My mom took him to the hospital finally after Thanksgiving, and he was admitted.  He didn't want to miss any of the Thanksgiving festivities.  

The doctors have changed his medications,
and he is back home now, doing better. 

Far too soon it was time to fly back home.  There were SO many people flying this time! The TSA lines were wrapped around the whole airport.  They had a dog sniffing everyone to try to speed up the lines. If you got the ok from the dog, you didn't have to remove your shoes or coat and that really helped to speed up the lines.  I hope this is something they continue to employ at all airports! 

On our way home, waiting to board our flight. 

We were greeted with a major winter storm upon arrival home. 

It was so beautiful to see! Our forest was covered in gorgeous snow! 

Our neighbor took such good care of our animals.
But they were so glad to see us back home! 

All curled up in my lap, they wanted to forget the memory of us being gone! 

The dogs and I went for a walk after the first snowstorm. The skies were glorious! They were so happy to be walking again! 

I was so happy to be walking again too!
We ate too much food over Thanksgiving! 

The views were spectacular as we walked! 

I sure do love where I live! 

It was a bit chilly out as we walked, but the smile on my face says it all :)
I was warm and cozy under all those layers! 

The chickens were very busy while I was gone! 

A beautiful barn I love to photograph on our daily walks. The skies were incredible! I do love Winter... even though it comes quite early and stays quite late.  :) 

I just finished another music video that I hope you will enjoy watching. It shows the beautiful beaches of Prince Edward Island put to beautiful piano music.  

Happy December to all of you, and I pray that you make time in the busy-ness of this season to stop and worship the Lord, and thank Him for all His many blessings. This is a hard time of year for so many people, but I do know that having a thankful heart helps ease the anxiety and stress of this time of year.  Blessings to all! 


  1. What a blessing that you could see so much of your families, on both sides, over the holidays, Marilyn! Glad your dad is doing better, too. It's so hard to watch our parents age right before our eyes, but it's just how life rolls.
    All your photos are grand, as always, my friend. Blessings!

    1. It is so hard to have our parents aging, and to see their struggles, knowing one day they may be ours. Thank you for your kind and wonderful visit, as always, I cherish your lovely comments!

  2. Your pictures are stunning, especially of the horses and the red barn! Good to hear that your Dad is doing better!

    1. Thank you Mrs. White, I am always so thankful for your kind visit and comments! We are so thankful for the Lord's touch on my Dad and pray for his continued strength in his health struggles. Blessings to you!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Debby! I am glad you enjoy the photos :)

  4. Wonderful family time! Gorgeous photos of those sunsets. You may be the only person I "know" who truly enjoys winter. ☺️

    1. I do love winter Vee, but even I am tired after about the end of January! I try to get out and enjoy each season God created for us. It helps. Winter is definitely the most difficult season for sure! Blessings to you dear friend :)

  5. how pretty your snow is. None yet here and I'm ok with it because the older I get (63 next week...yes i color my hair as you can see from my profile pic) the less I like commuting in it to my work at the preschool agency. I'm thankful your dad is ok now! What a GORGEOUS barn photo!!

    1. Winter is a long season, and I try to get out and enjoy it as much as possible, it helps! But, winter always overstays its welcome, lol! I don't like driving in snow much either. We have great vehicles for the snow, so that helps. Yes, we are so thankful Dad is doing better. I love seeing that old barn every time I walk by. So beautiful in every season! Blessings to you!

  6. Your photos are gorgeous as always! Your area is so beautiful. Those horse pics should be framed!
    Looks like a very nice Thanksgiving. I'm so glad your Dad is back home.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Mari, I have thought about framing those pictures. It was really a special moment to capture! Blessings to you sweet friend!

  7. Your Thanksgiving down south looks like a wonderful time with family and I'm glad to read that your Dad is home and feeling much better.
    Love your North Idaho photos. We've heard that Spokane is getting slammed with snow this year already. I'm kind of glad this isn't the year that we're living in our camper in the foothills. :-)
    Thank you as always for the beautiful pictures of our beloved Northwest.
    Happy December!

  8. Such beautiful photos of your lovely property and area and at your Thanksgiving gathering in Texas. So wonderful that you could fly down there. I'm sure it was special for Dan's mom for you two to be there. I've eaten at that Mexican restaurant in San Antonio and so enjoyed the Mariachi Band. Hope your dear Dad is getting better every day. We are with you in winter this fall. Snow on the ground since November 7th! Happy December to you and hope your preparations for Christmas bring you joy and peace.

  9. So nice to see a post from you and to hear all about what you have been up to. I am so thankful your Daddy is doing better, too. I trust God will continue to keep His healing hand upon him. I can't believe you are already getting that much snow where you live! It sure is pretty to look at. God bless you, sweet friend.

  10. oh that you picked that beautiful bouquet this late in the year is simply heart-warming, friend! happy December to you!

  11. It looks like a wonderful, family-filled Thanksgiving. Glad your dad is ok.

    Going from the weather in Texas to the snow is quite a change.

    Great photos as usual, Marilyn!

  12. What a wonderful family gathering. All that color and lights every where you went. With family
    is the way to spend a holiday. Boy, did you come home to cold and snow. Not that way in Ohio
    for now. I enjoy seeing your kitties are all grey like my Precious. Your tea pots are a delight.
    I have a few up over the kitchen cabinets. Hot tea on any day is my thing. Happy Holidays and
    a very Merry Christmas to you and yours. Lynn and Precious

  13. What a wonderful time you had with your family in Texas. The pool table room brought back memories, as I grew up with a pool table and could play with the best of them haha. I'm glad your dad is doing better, and what a precious picture of you both. The family feast platter looks delicious at the Mexican restaurant, and the dessert as well. I LOVE the picture of your teapots and looking out the window to the fire burning. My neighbor just did this, and it looked so pretty. We had our first snowfall this week. I was drawn to your Thomas Kinkade tea pot, and I bought one of his paintings up in Placerville where he lived. I love his art. The skies on your walk with the dogs look glorious, and Marilyn, that photo of the red barn is so charming and looks like a post card. And those horse photos are just beautiful.

    The Merriest Christmas season to you, Marilyn. And I appreciate your sweet posts every time. It was nice to see your smile in that fur coat you are wearing.


  14. Marilyn, your Thanksgiving was amazing. So much food and your precious family. So glad Dan’s mom joined you. Happy to hear your dad is feeling better. Your photos are so beautiful. What a Joy to live in such beautiful surroundings. Merry Christmas.

  15. Your time with family sounds wonderful. Special times with loved ones making priceless memories. You arranged such a charming display of your lovely teapots! Your snow scene photos are always magical. What a special place you live in. Wishing you a blessed Christmas season, Marilyn! Tamara

  16. Sending prayers for your family. Continuing to pray for your dad. xx oo

    I always enjoy reading about your adventures. And I love your photos!!!

    We enjoyed our visit to the Alamo several years ago. Our boys still say it was one of the best trips.
    I love that you took photos of the quinceanera, I have heard about them, but never got to see one.
    So fun!!

  17. Looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family, Marilyn and of course I am always appreciate looking at all of your stunning photos. You do live in a beautiful place in spite of winter being early and hanging around for longer!

  18. So that's what the River Walk looks like at Christmas! We visited in summer one year. I loved it. Oh, those beautiful snowy trees on your property! Thanks for thinking of me and stopping by. Enjoy the holiday season!

  19. So pleased you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I enjoyed seeing your photographs.
    Pleased to read that your dad is back home now and doing better.

    Love your snowy photographs beautiful scenes.

    Enjoy your December days.

    All the best Jan


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